What Happens If Your Insurance Claim is Denied?

The last thing anyone wants to hear is that their insurance claim has been denied in the aftermath of a car accident. There are various reasons why an automobile insurance carrier may deny an insurance claim. To be sure, there are certainly legitimate reasons for claim denials. However, we have to understand that these insurance carriers will look for reasons to deny a claim so they can avoid paying out compensation that will affect their bottom line. Here, we want to discuss steps that you can take if you receive a claim denial from an auto insurance carrier.

Understand Why Your Claim Was Denied

When an insurance carrier denies a claim, they are required to provide you with a reason for the denial. There are various valid reasons why an insurance carrier may deny the claim, but please understand that insurance carriers can make mistakes. Additionally, insurance carriers will do what they can to save money, which means sometimes denying otherwise legitimate claims.

If an insurance carrier failed to provide you with a reason for a denial, or if you suspect the reason is not valid, you should send a letter to the insurance carrier.

Write to Your Insurance Carrier

When you write a letter to the insurance carrier, you need to provide clear details explaining why you believe the denial was unjust. You want to begin your letter with information that identifies who you are:

  • Your legal name and insurance policy number
  • The date you send the letter
  • The word “Complaint” written at the top of the letter

As you explain why you think your claim should not have been denied, you should also tell the insurance carrier that you want them to correct the issue and approve the claim.

Support Your Complaint With Evidence

Insurance carriers are not going to change their mind unless they have compelling evidence to do so. You need to have your ducks in a row with strong proof that can support your side of events. This can include the following:

  • Photographs taken at the accident scene
  • Video surveillance of the incident
  • The police or accident report
  • All of your medical records showing a link to the injuries and the crash
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Bills and receipts related to property damage

Basically, any documentation related to the accident needs to be included when you send the letter to the insurance carrier. Only send copies. Never send your original documents.

Understanding Bad Faith Insurance

There are times when insurance carriers deny claims when they shouldn’t, and they could be acting in bad faith. When insurance carriers behave this way, they are violating the terms of your insurance policy. In many cases, insurance carriers can be held liable for these actions. Some common examples of bad faith insurance practices in Oregon include the insurance carrier:

  • Failing to properly investigate the claim
  • Denying the claim without providing a valid reason
  • Demanding an unreasonable amount of paperwork in order to delay the claim
  • Offering completely unfair settlements that are far below the value of the claim

Contact an Attorney

If your insurance claim has been denied by an auto insurance carrier, you need to work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A Portland car accident lawyer can handle every aspect of your claim from the beginning to the end. They will have the resources and experience necessary to fully investigate the case and help recover maximum compensation on your behalf.